We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Washington state jury refuses to convict first “valve-turner” in four state tar sands pipeline action

Click here to access article by Martha Baskin from Free Speech Radio News.
In a surprise victory, a Washington state jury has refused to convict Ken Ward, the first of five “valve turners” who shut off tar sands pipelines [at Anacortes, WA] from Canada to Washington in October of last year. Ken Ward, who turned off an emergency block valve on Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain Pipeline, was charged with two felony counts. After more than five hours of deliberation, Ward’s three day trial ended in a hung jury, with at least one juror refusing to convict.
Following this introduction is a transcript of the audio recording of Baskin's report.

Once again I find activists using expressions like the vacuous "powers that be" which tends to obscure the tiny class that benefits from so many problems that we face, and hides the reality that we are really engaged in a class war. Our ultimate goal must be to rid ourselves of class structured societies and replace them with true egalitarian societies. Capitalism as a system has inevitably created a tiny class of powerful people called capitalists who have over several hundred years accumulated ownership and control over nearly everything that ordinary people have created with their hard work and their creativity. If activists can't recognize reality, then all their activism will be futile.
Ward and O’Hara are among the founders of the Climate Disobedience Center, an organization committed to act publicly and with determination to, in O’Hara’s words, “undermine the fossil fuel basis of industrial civilization.”

To do that, O’Hara says, “You have to build a powerful enough movement. You have to build a power base that’s capable of shifting that policy and capable of pushing back against the powers that be.” 
[my emphasis]  

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